BY JOHN ELLIS JUNE 2, 2016
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. 2 Timothy 4:3
In the words of my editor, Hillsong Church is a hot mess. Unfortunately, their hot mess is being swallowed hook, line, and sinker by throngs of deceived seekers. Preying on the hurt, confusion, and longing that swirls around people attempting to navigate these uncertain times, Hillsong has managed to make the broad path even wider and smoother. Among other major errors, Hillsong has created a toxic religiosity that slurps on a heretical soup seasoned with Word of Faith teaching (the prosperity gospel) and a rejection of the Bible’s teaching on sexuality.
For those unfamiliar with the global church network, Hillsong Church began in Australia in 1983 and quickly grew into a multi-site church. Since its Australian beginnings, Hillsong has spread its tentacles throughout the world. With churches in fifteen countries, Hillsong’s impact and influence is large. Add their weekly church attendees to the millions who love Hillsong’s platinum-selling music ministry, and criticizing Hillsong steps on many toes, generating rousing defenses of the ministry that “has blessed me greatly.” Hopefully, Hillsong New York City’s recent action will begin to open people’s eyes to the dangerous apostasy that is Hillsong Church.
My Strict Fundamentalist Parents and Youth Group Were a Blessing
At a recent women’s Colour Conference, the brain trust at Hillsong NYC put on a performance celebrating New York City. The performance featured people holding American flags, men dressed as firefighters, and a variety of iconic NYC images, all dancing to a cover of Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” So far, it sounds silly and not really edifying, but not worth writing an article about. However, one of the iconic NYC images prancing on Hillsong’s stage was the Times Square Naked Cowboy.
To be clear, the actual Times Square Naked Cowboy, Robert John Burck, was not in attendance at the Hillsong women’s Colour Conference. Instead, one of the church’s youth pastors stripped down to his skivvies, donned a cowboy hat and boots, and danced on the stage in front of a large crowd of shrieking women. Yes, you read that correctly. A youth pastor, wearing nothing but his underwear, danced on the Hillsong stage for the enjoyment of those attending the Hillsong New York City women’s Colour Conference.